It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Casco. The morning started quietly, but soon our staff began arriving. Old friends reunited and new ones became acquainted. We can’t wait for this awesome group to transform into the best team anywhere. Over the next week, we’ll meet as cabin and activity groups to prepare for the 2011 summer. Get psyched, Arrival Day is just a week away!!!
As Pre-Camp draws to a close, the action has picked up. Our Adventure staff concluded their Wilderness/First Aid certification and are embarking on a trip to all of the awesome destinations our campers will visit this summer. Our Waterski Staff has arrived, and they are already out on Crescent Lake testing the beautiful, new Mastercrafts. All our Campus Leaders and Area Directors are busy planning super new activities for the 2011 summer. The entire staff arrives tomorrow to begin Orientation, as the countdown continues until Arrival Day. We can hardly wait…
The big day is near. Soon, your child leaves home for a summer of fun, excitement and growth.
Scary, isn’t it?
Sure. New experiences usually are. But we’ve got some ideas to help.
Talk with your child. And we mean “talk honestly.” It’s great to chirp about the wonderful days ahead. But be sure to acknowledge that fears and worries are okay. They’re normal.. Let your son or daughter know that everyone – even you! – gets nervous before doing something different. Remind your child that directors, campus leaders, counselors and staff members know about nerves – and they’ll be there to talk, day or night.
Don’t say, “And if you get homesick, you can come home!” Though reassuring, it sends the wrong message. It focuses on the negative – and undermines the idea that you’ve selected that camp because you trust the directors and counselors so much. Emphasize instead that while homesickness is normal, it goes away – and everyone at camp will help make it disappear. (It’s also a good idea to not say too much how much you’ll miss your child – or how badly everyone will feel that they’re not at the annual 4th of July fireworks or family reunion.)
Prepare together. Read the packing list with your child. Go shopping with him or her. Your child will pick out items he or she really likes – while at the same time sharing a quiet, unhurried conversation about camp.
Reinforce camp policies on things like cell phones. You may want to give your child a phone to call home “just in case” — but that’s the wrong “call.” For one thing, it contradicts what you’re saying about the counselors’ and directors’ ability to help. For another, it encourages “bending the rules.” For a third, it shifts your child’s focus from having fun and making new friends, to sneaking off and being alone.
Don’t let your own anxieties affect your child. As a parent, you may feel trepidation too. You’ll miss your child – and fear you’ll miss out on his or her growth. That’s natural. But don’t burden your kid with those thoughts. Tell your spouse and friends instead!
Camp is a time of independence. Of spreading wings. Of making new friends, forming strong bonds and creating vivid memories in a non-family, out-of-school environment. The days leading up to camp may be anxious – for campers and their parents. But the rewards will be well worth a week or two of very normal nerves.
We can’t wait to see your son or daughter at camp!!!
10 Things to do before Your Children Leave for
10. Complete all of the camp paperwork. This provides the camp with valuable details about your child that they can pass onto their health center and counselors. Knowing your children’s interests before they arrive helps the camp place them into cabins or bunks in which they’ll thrive, provide them with the best program options, and be able to supply them with any medication they may require.
9. Buy stationary, pre-address and stamp envelopes for letters home. Many camps have specific time set aside in their daily schedules for writing home. Pre-addressed envelopes help ease the process of sending the letters campers have so lovingly written. This is particularly the case for younger campers. Also, familiarize yourself with your children’s camp policy regarding camp packages to avoid disappointment that may result from sending items that are undeliverable to your children.